Captured Conversations

I stumbled across this Skype conversation with my mother from quite a number of years ago, which I had emailed to myself to keep safe, and subsequently forgotten I still had (though I remembered the conversation itself well). I grasp at all these memories, wanting to remember her voice, her smell, and her writing, and wanting to celebrate the strength and depth of my relationship with her. However desperately I miss her, I am trying to continue to appreciate the many long years I was lucky enough to have her for.

[21:22:05] Laurel Oettle says: Hi ma!
[21:23:19] Tessa Cousins says: yes!
[21:23:25] Laurel Oettle says: Yay!
[21:23:38] Tessa Cousins says: I have been completing a presentation so am up late – yay indeed!
[21:23:42] Laurel Oettle says: I’m just listening to a really great Tracy Chapman song – I never told you about the concert, did I? I’m going to send you this song via Skype
[21:23:48] Tessa Cousins says: No….. New stuff from her?
[21:24:26] Laurel Oettle says: Yes, she just released a new album, it’s LOVELY!
[21:24:36] Tessa Cousins says: then I must look for it – called? You went to her concert then?
[21:24:46] Laurel Oettle says: ‘Our Bright Future’. Yes! In December
[21:25:29] Laurel Oettle sent file “01 Sing for You” to members of this chat
[21:26:01] Tessa Cousins says: and you loved it clearly!
[21:26:03] Laurel Oettle says: You must listen to this song when it downloads – I WEPT when she played it
[21:26:16] Tessa Cousins says: ok….why did it move you so much?
[21:26:19] Laurel Oettle says: Just thinking of you and Gran and motherhood… it’s called ‘Sing for you’. Some of the lyrics:
“Sweet and high at the break of dawn
A simple tune that you can hum along to
I remember there was a time
When I used to sing for you”
[21:27:15] Tessa Cousins says: I look forward then sweetheart
[21:27:23] Laurel Oettle says: she was talking at the concert before she played it, about how music has been the ‘soundtrack to her life’, and she used to sing with her sister. It just made me think of singing to baby Tristan… you singing to me…. More lyrics:
“Soft and low when the evening comes
Holding you, sleeping in my arms
I remember there was a time
When I used to sing for you”
[21:28:38] Tessa Cousins says: its quite universal isn’t it – very evocative – I loved my mothers untuneful voice. It must be wonderful to get a real feel of a singer when you like them, such an “in” to their music
[21:29:02] Laurel Oettle says: Indeed!
[21:30:21] Tessa Cousins says: down the lines of generations. Music really can release floodgates when tears have been building too. Gran’s music at the end was the Bach cello suites. Look for them and listen – SOOO beautiful – very well known.
[21:30:36] Laurel Oettle says: Ah, yes I will look for them. It was a welcome release to really be able to cry properly, it’s been hard mourning Gran from so far away.
[21:32:56] Tessa Cousins says: Movies can also do that ‘good cry’ thing – we saw Fugitive Pieces recently. I was hesitant, with the book so wonderful. But they’ve done a great job – very good, but a big cry! They’ve approached is differently, creatively, and it works. Now I want to read it again.
[21:33:22] Laurel Oettle says: Oooh wow I must see that! I don’t remember the detail of the book but I remember it being amazing.
[21:34:18] Tessa Cousins says: How is this New Year to my dear Youngest?
[21:34:27] Laurel Oettle says: Hmmmm okay…. Not so good, but trying to deal with it. I need to get more sleep! and rest and cope with work pressures better
[21:35:22] Tessa Cousins says: Its called managing LIFE better! You are all at the same stage of relationships – with partners you have children with, inevitably going through rocky times – do your relationships survive and grow? or not?
[21:37:18] Laurel Oettle says: Oh? Well, I must say, it’s reassuring to hear that in a way! Well, Clive and I seem to be surviving and growing, and things between us are feeling good.
[21:39:04] Tessa Cousins says: Well that’s great. It’s a huge boon to have something like “kindness” in a relationship. You have that between you, it is valuable, and not soooo common
[21:39:33] Laurel Oettle says: yes, we do; we have a huge amount of it, and support. We have always supported and encouraged each other.
[21:39:50] Tessa Cousins says: growing up is not so easy, is it?
[21:40:00] Laurel Oettle says: oh ma, no, and I guess it never ends.
[21:44:11] Tessa Cousins says: One of the LEKKER thing about growing older: we can and do move, into BETTER places in ourselves, all the better to live and love from. The big compensation for age – it’s like a secret!
[21:44:37] Laurel Oettle says: lol, well I shall look forward to getting there – EVENTUALLY!!!!!!!!!!! Doesn’t make now easier though 😦
[21:46:02] Tessa Cousins says: no my sweet – and the echo of all the love you have ever had to forgo, the opportunities not taken up, the loss of beloved people….how present emotional experience carries the weight more than the echoes of our past.
[21:46:17] Laurel Oettle says: ah ma-ma, I do love you!

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